Months before Bronx mobster Sally Daz was whacked, he was supposed to meet his fate at the hands of a killer named Giovanni — but someone got to Giovanni first.
That new detail about the plot to kill 71-year-old Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola emerged Tuesday, when a cooperating witness took the stand in Zottola’s son’s federal murder-for-hire trial.
Bloods member Kalik “Dot” McFarlane, 40, testified in Brooklyn Federal Court about his role in the failed attempts on Sally Daz’s life before the septuagenarian was gunned down in a Bronx McDonald’s drive thru on Oct. 11, 2018.
McFarlane said he was the getaway driver in bumbling hit man Ron Cabey’s two botched attempts on Sally Daz’s life and that he was recruited to commit the crime months before Cabey took the assignment.
Federal prosecutors say Anthony Zottola, 44, paid his Bloods leader pal Bushawn Shelton $200,000 to set up his father’s murder and his older brother’s attempted murder, so he could take over the family’s $45 million real estate business.
The plan, in early 2018, was for McFarlane to drive and for “Giovanni,” whose real name was Jonathan Jackson, to shoot and kill Sally Daz when he came out of his Bronx house, McFarlane said. But when they got there, they saw people chatting in a bus stop nearby, so they left.
Jackson never got the chance to try again — he was shot to death on March 3, 2018, right after a Brooklyn gender reveal party, federal prosecutors said.
As McFarlane explained it, “He went to go shoot a rival gang and he was shot and killed.”
Derrick “Dee” Ayers, a member of Brooklyn-based “Bully Gang,” was indicted for chasing Jackson down Kings Highway and shooting him at close range, authorities said.
After that, McFarlane and Shelton paid cash to buy a run-down van to use as a getaway car. In April, McFarlane went to do the deed himself — but was confronted by Sally Daz’s other son, Salvatore Zottola, he said.
Shelton started getting frustrated that the murder hadn’t happened yet, and once, while they sat in a car, he made sure McFarlane was listening when he got a phone call from someone who told him the killing needed to be done “as soon as possible.”
The voice on the phone sounded “like he had an Italian accent... like a Soprano, Goodfellas.”
McFarlane teamed up with Cabey for two more attempts on Sally Daz’s life, but wound up getting arrested for driving without a license that June, taking him out of the picture until his release from jail in October 2018.
The feds busted McFarlane in the murder-for-hire case in December 2018. He said he met Himen “Ace” Ross, one of Anthony Zottola’s co-defendants, in lock-up.
Ross was “boasting and bragging” about the July 11, 2018 shooting that nearly ended Sally Daz’s son Salvatore Zottola’s life, about how he “got out of the car, started shooting somebody and he was rolling on the floor,” McFarlane testified.
Anthony Zottola and Ross’ lawyers painted McFarlane as a career criminal who committed burglaries, lied, and slashed people’s faces in jail whenever it suited him. They accused him of lying to get a cooperation letter from federal prosecutors to ensure a short prison stint.
Henry Mazurek, who represents Anthony Zottola, suggested that McFarlane remembered the voice on the phone sounded like a “Soprano” only after researching media coverage of Shelton’s arrest in October, and that he offered prosecutors information he gleaned from news accounts to secure a cooperation agreement.
“Is it fair to say, sir, that that agreement is the most important thing in your life right now?” Mazurek asked. “Because without it, you have no hope.”